SCCM Team Blog: Introducing the Pull Distribution Point

Over on the TechNet blogs the introduce the SCCM Pull Distribution Point.

If you are one of the victims of bottle neck distribution points with a simplified hierarchy with no secondary sites then you are in luck.

With Cumulative Update 1 to System Center Configuration Manager the added Pull-Distribution points corrects this issue.
Read the explanation here:

IT Operations – Visualizing Success

When approaching any new project what you will need to do is visualize your IT Operations success.  It doesn’t matter if it is a internal project, external project, outsourcing project, multiple business unit change, you will need a road map for your success.

Communication should be a key part of that success.  Everyone knows change affects people / groups in different ways.  Your worst enemy is the water cooler talk in any project.  This is where rumors get started and can lead to a very negative feeling on what the organization is trying to accomplish.  As a consultant this is something we need to grasp with the organization.  You will approach it lightly and see the customer’s response.  If they have a good track record of organization wide communication then they will be driving force. If this is something new, you as the project / technical expert need to be that driving force.

In you project team / group’s meetings / sessions you will need to convey a communication road map that aligns with your success road map.  You will need a strong leader in the business to share the visualized success with their employees, as these can become you worse enemy when trying to visualize, implement, and train them on the new way of doing things.

What do I hear most when talking with employees who’s management is not leading the communication of road map, “Well, this how we have always done it”.  This is not a good attitude when changing for the good.  As you can see by just that one statement the success road map is not being communicated.

Have a motto, create posters, send out weekly / bi-weekly / semi-monthly updates, and just be pro-active.

When you start with the visualization get all the success criteria documented.  But with change there will be always a negative impact somewhere in the business.  Don’t shelter it, be forthcoming and communicate this also.

“Success Cannot Be a Success Without Change Being In the Equation”  

Adobe Reader 11 Package Accelerator Available

Over on the TechNet blog they announced the Adobe Reader 11 Package Accelerator

As you may have seen, we announced that App-V 5.0 SP1 is now available as part of MDOP 2013.  In our many conversations at MMS a few weeks ago, we heard a lot of excitement around 5.0 SP1 as many of you are evaluating 5.0 alongside………

Read the whole post over on the “The Microsoft Application Virtualization Blog”………

http://blogs.technet.com/b/appv/archive/2013/04/30/adobe-reader-11-package-accelerator-available.aspx

System Center 2012: PowerShell – Connecting to Configuration Manager

From over on the TechNet blogs, explains the PowerShell connection with System Center 2012

Welcome to installment #2. In case you missed installment #1 – Getting Started – here’s the link. With the Getting Started blog, you tried a few basic Windows PowerShell cmdlets. I hope you took a bit of time to explore what other cmdlets are available in Windows. But now it’s time to get Configuration Manager hooked up to your PowerShell environment. Let’s start with the easy method………

Read the full post over on the “System Center Configuration Manager Team’s Blog Site”……

http://blogs.technet.com/b/configmgrteam/archive/2013/03/27/powershell-connecting-to-configuration-manager.aspx

What’s New in App-V 5.0 SP1 and User Experience Virtualization 1.0 SP1

Over at the Windows blog they talk about what is new App-V 5.0 SP1

As you may have seen, on Wednesday, we announced that MDOP 2013 is now available and detailed the new updates and features made to Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM). But some of you might be saying, “What about Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), and Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5.0? What is updated in these products?”

As you have heard us say over and over, your feedback is very important and helps drive what we build. Both UE-V and App-V 5.0 were released five months ago and we have seen these technologies adopted by companies like Eastman, NTTX,Etisalat Lanka. As more organizations continued to test and deploy these solutions, the more feedback we received. This feedback drove us to release service packs for UE-V and App-V 5.0 in MDOP 2013……

Read more on the “Spring Board Series Blog”………

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/springboard/archive/2013/04/11/what-s-new-in-application-virtualization-5-0-sp1-and-user-experience-virtualization-1-0-sp1.aspx

Making Windows 8 More Manageable w/ MDOP 2013

Over on the Windows blog they talk about managing Windows 8 with MDOP 2013.

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2013 for Software Assurance is now available for download! When people think about MDOP, they often think about its virtualization tools that help personalize user experience, simplify app deployment, and improve app compatibility for Windows. MDOP is much more than that though, it also helps manage and deploy important Windows features like BitLocker and Group Policy, as well as saves time by helping to make desktop repair planning proactive instead of reactive.

We’ve been working for some time to optimize our MDOP products for Windows 8 with the goal of making them easier to adopt and take advantage of all the new Windows 8 platform capabilities. Last November, we took our first step by releasing MDOP 2012, in which Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5.0, and the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 8.0 supported Windows 8.

……

Read the whole article on the “Windows For Your Business” blog.

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/business/archive/2013/04/10/making-windows-8-even-more-manageable-with-mdop-2013.aspx

Delivering Unified Device Management with Windows Intune and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1

Back in September, we announced our strategy around unified device management, and how the next releases of Windows Intune and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager will deliver on that vision.  As part of today’s update to our Cloud OS vision, we’re pleased to announce that System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Endpoint Protection Service Pack 1 ……

View more on the Intune Technet Blog….

http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/archive/2013/01/15/delivering-unified-device-management-with-windows-intune-and-system-center-2012-configuration-manager-sp1.aspx

Your IT Operations Box

In IT Operations, the biggest challenge I see is the employees grasping to that box and they fear change.  People usually think the keeper of the box is IT Management.  This may be true is some cases but it is usually the employees who’s responsibility is to support this box.  Change is the way they have neglected doing continued education and finding better ways to do the job. As a consultant we get called in from management to help, as they know they need change and they are ready to embrace it.  When statements of work get ironed out with what deliverables they desire is to get their team on-board.  It is a harsh reality but the biggest challenge is the team.  If it is supporting Windows 7 now and not Windows XP, or having a new delivery method for their Operating System build / deployments, software delivery, in which now they have to learn new standards, or getting away from WSUS and start using System Center to manage their updates. As people get comfortable with the day to day and not realize how un-healthy and non-optimized  their structure is. As Bill Gate’s said it best:

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

First mistake about System Center Configuration Manager (CM) it will not fix an un-healthy environment.  In fact it will not be successful if it is the other way around.  A challenge when going into any organization is letting them know in a convincing and well manner way their is a better way of doing this. When tackling an engagement for systems management the first thing to do is tackle Active Directory.  You identify clients that have not logged into the domain for a set amount of time, and create a process to move those clients into a Organizational Unit (OU) that is not monitored by CM.  After that identification is done then the process can go on managing the clients, via in-place refreshes, OS migration, software delivery, and software updates. Now with CM 2012 you have the ability to manage anti-virus with forefront integrated, and with the direct access coming around with PKI you will start seeing cloud distribution points.  But there is plenty of information for you to read on the internet about the features. You will need to think outside of your Organization’s box and strive for optimization.  You will not be successful and cause more work then it is necessary.  Only you can strive to bring you IT Operations group to the next level and be that trend setter you organization.

USMT Local Utility

Have an SCCM 2007 USMT environment with no fail safe on restore.  Well arm your Help Desk with this utility, USMT Local Utility.  It is a huge stress saver.  Stop wasting time on client side troubleshooting get to a point and say enough is enough just do it local.

Use this ‘Stand Alone’ application to capture Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8 and restore it on Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS’s.

This application was written in Visual Basic .NET (VB.Net) utilizing .NET Framework 2.0 so there is no compatibility issues with Windows XP.  This makes the application have no other prerequisites other than the “Source” folder being in the same directory as the executable.
Just type in the location where you want to store the migration file and click on the run button.
 
 
This application will encrypt the created “MIG” file with the key hard-coded in the application.  If you use this application to capture the computer you can only use this application to restore it.
Wait it gets better, did you capture the PC using SCCM but the restore is failing due to who knows what, bad association or just bad client, well you can restore from SCCM USMT captures.  When you hit restore just click specify encryption key and put the path to the State Migration Point path and bamn done.
Click below to start your free download and just remember the “Source” folder MUST be in the same directory as the application.   
 
 
USMT Local Utility Version: 2.0.0.1